My Visit to a Country Store

It was a thursday morning and I had alot to do. The dishwasher was broke and the water heater was broke. The weeds were growing and the floors needed mopping. Even though Kaos was happening I lay awake thinking I need an adventure. Usually when I need an adventure but have limeted time and gas money I have to have a close adventure. I decided to take a drive, of course camera in tow looking for something fun! Well as I drove thru the country side through the rolling hills of Pa, through farm land and small country towns I was amazed at the beauty of it all. I found incredible views and horses grazing and incredible houses and structures but I kept driving. I was in a town called East Berlin and I saw a really cool country cafe which I made a mental note I need to return. The town of East Berlin was Named after Berlin Germany. Then I saw a sign for Biglerville, Pennsylvania. That was the town I wanted because I read there was a country store there that was 100 years old and Dwight D. Eisenhower had visited there!.

Biglerville is a borough in Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 1,200 at the 2010 census. The National Apple Museum is located on West Hanover St. in Biglerville.[1] The borough is served by the Upper Adams School District and is home to Biglerville High School.

As I entered Biglerville I started to get excited to find this famous Country Store. Ok so there it was; I had arrived. Surrounded by small town store fronts this business surely stood out. Right out front was a sign stating that this was the famous country store you had read about in all the newspapers and magazines across the country!! 100 YEARS OF FUN! The Thomas Brothers Store!

Thomas Brothers Store, also known as Biglerville Country Store, is a historic general store and residential building located at Biglerville in Adams County, Pennsylvania. The store was built in 1912, and is a three-story, rectangular brick building with a shed roof. It sits on a stone foundation, has a three bay front elevation with a prominent cornice, and has Classical Revival style influences. It measures 40 feet wide by 100 feet deep. Located on the third floor is a large meeting room known as Thomas Hall. Attached to the store building is a three-story, two bay house also built in 1912

Check out the sign!

As I entered the store there was a little old lady sitting on some boxes opening some new merchandise for the store. Her name was Marion, my middle name! She had on bright gold specialty shoes, a bright salmon colored shirt with a big pink hairbow in her hair. Right away she informed me that she spray painted her shoes herself. She welcomed me to the store but she was on the phone talking to a vendor or customer or publisher. She is having a book published about her and her business. I didnt find out why but the store is run by her and her sister Jean but yet it is called the Thomas Brothers Store. I thought that was a coincidence since my name is Jeanne Marion. Anyway, she welcomed me as she finished her phone call. I started to walk around trying to wrap my eyes around all the differnent nooks and cranny’s of this very old and disorganized country store and Museum. Marion inforrmed me later that she went to NYU to study fashion so the store is part fashion show, part vintage and general goods and part museum peppered with photos of history of the store and nearby Gettysburg and presidents etc. You can tell Marion’s Love of Fashion in her front window.

Here is Marion’s love of Fashion!

I forgot to mention the wonderful music playing from the 30’s and 40’s that you hear as soon as you walk in. Pop Standards were playing which in this day and age would be thought of as Jazz standards. It immediately got me in the mood for a vintage treasure hunt. She got off the phone and I asked her if I could take some pictures and she said as long as they were good. Ha! Marion has a sense of humor but I  guess I already knew that when I saw her spraypainted blinged out specialty shoes. I decided to ask her if I could take a picuture of her. She said yes but as I started to focus she said I have a better place you can take my picture so help me up! I said Ok are you sure it’s not too much trouble and she said no. So I helped her up and we shuffeled over to her counter. She said this way I can get a picture of her and the pictures in the background of her Daddy with the President when he visited the store back in 1960. There was also a picture of President Lincoln and her one and only husband.  Marion told me that the president really loved country stores and he liked thier store so much that he gave her father and her a very expensive gift which is located in the nearby Library that Marion owns in Biglerville.

Here is Marion, in the background you can see her father and Dwight Eisnehower who visited there in 1960.

She told me that she went to NYU for Fashion and she met he husband ; her love there. They were married and he died very young at 22. I asked her if she ever married again and she said no. I said why, your so pretty and she said they all wanted to boss me. The didnt think I knew anything. I said who they and she said all the men. She said she never met a man she liked; loved as much as her first husband. You can see a picture of him in this photo, the handsome fellow with the pipe.

I walked around one more time and came across some more pictures in the Museum part of the store. I definatley want to go back at Christmas time. She then showed me the merchandise she was opening and I fell in Love with it. I just found the perfect present for my mother for Christmas!! I can’t share that picture until after Christmas!

President Dwight Eisenhower
Some vintage fabric

After I was done looking I told her I would come back another time. She wanted to know what I did and where I was from. She asked what I did for work and she asked me to sign her visitors book. She said she met so many people that she couldnt keep track and I should write details of myslef under my name. We talked about her book coming out and she told me she wished she could buy regular shoes but she had problem feet and she only has that one pair of shoes. Ok, by now I realized it was getting quite late so I paid her “CASH ONLY” No credit cards taken for the perfect Christmas gift for my mom. I told her I had to get back home to make dinner. She handed me a flyer about the store and she then instruced me where to get myself a bag behind the counter. I told he I would come back and she grabbed my hand to hold it and said please dont forget to come back. I said Of course I won’t forget , how could I forget. I said you will see us around Christmas Time and she said ok as long as you promise. What a sweetie. I had a great time but now I had to get back quick; time was tic tocking away! This was just what I needed to refresh my creative juices and get my Retro Fix. So if your ever in Biglerville; five miles from Historic Gettsburg take some time to smell the roses and meet Marion in a 100 year old Country Store. Maybe you will find the perfect gift too!

Love and Happiness, Jloz

Early Morning Cry

Today was like an early morning cry kind of day. Like when you wake up and the first thing you do is cry. That used to be a routine for me. A habit almost. Realizing another day is to take place and the overwhelming and all encompassing strength it will take to get out of bed and get thru it all. So first a cry. I don’t do that much anymore.

pic credit: JLozier

It was like that today. It was a grey and gloomy day. It rained all day. I drove in that rain all day and listened to Billie Holiday . It was the right music to go with the mood. It almost made it like a soundtrack to a sad and dreary movie drama. I felt like I was in my own movie. A little bit of out of body experience today. I had to take some pictures as I drove.

I can’t help but get emotional when Billie sings. She embodied Heartbreak, every pore on her body oozed with heartbreak. She shared it with us in small doses of three, four and five minute songs. Just enough to always leave us wanting more.

Pic credit by google.

Here’s some of the songs that shattered me today.

“If the Moon turned green”

https://youtu.be/qqMMSY-VbXM

“You Better Go Now” was always one of my favorites.

https://r.be/wpB9nwhpv

“You’ve Changed”:

https://youtu.be/ir2eBab1KDE

Yeah it was a Billie Day. Gloomy Thursday. Everything I saw looked gloomy and with the back drop of Lady Day Singing everything was that much deeper.

Here is a picture of a Alter I took today in Paterson NJ. I call it ” Paterson Life” for obvious reasons. I was making up stories all day about this alter trying to fill in the blanks about why it was there and what young soul it was for. Very Sad ūüėĘ

pic credit : JLozier

Here is a picture I took today of a Red House with a graveyard peeping out the back. I wonder who lives there? Newark NJ

pic credit : JLozier

Here is a picture of a pair of birds on the waters edge, are they mates? I think so. Then a single black bird in flight while all his friends sit perched in the nearby tree filling in the bare branches. These two pictures were from Haverstraw, New York.

pic credit : JLozier

I’m not sure what the forecast calls for tomorrow but maybe the sun will be shining. One can hope but beauty and joy can be found in the gloomy days as well. There is beauty in the tears and heartbreak, in the solitude of lost souls that are no longer on this earth. In the naked cold wet earth and bare lines of nature before spring blooms. The beauty Is always all around us.

Love and Happiness

Jloz

We do not believe …..

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

E.E. Cummings
I love you.

Love and Happiness,

Jloz.

The man with the Angel Tattoo.

So I think its time for this blog to be written. I was thinking about a lot of things yesterday, in my head and then something very special happened. I was driving and  picked up a customer, he was waiting on the side of the road. He was handsome, nice smile. He was friendly. As I was driving him something very special happened.

He decided to tell me his story. I believe when someone shares something very personal with a complete stranger that it is a gift. Some people find it strange or weird but I think it is an offering of some kind. A glimpse into their soul.

I accept it when this happens to me; I actually  treasure it like a beautiful shell or smooth piece of sea glass I find on the beach. Little gifts from god.

I don’t know if this man will ever read this, probably not but I want to thank him just the same. He shared a traumatic story about his childhood and how it affected him as an adult. He told me how he handled it and how his anger overtook him for a large part of his life. I cannot tell you his complete story but I will tell you part of it. This man was given looks, athletic ability, high IQ and intelligence. But he was angry. Very angry and he never really understood why. He had suppressed the events that happened to him for years. But all of a sudden he remembered. And he cried.

One day he decided¬† to kill one of the people who had hurt him very badly as a child.. So he bought a gun, he drove to the person’s house and sat there, sober and aware. He said he waited a few hours getting the nerve to commit a murder and as he was about to get out of the car, a 90-year-old black woman with white hair, came up to his car and knocked on the car window.¬† He rolled down the window and she gave him a piece of paper of some kind. It said you are loved, God loves you. As he was looking down at the paper to see what it said, she said what was written there. She said You are loved. God Loves You. He¬† looked back up and she had vanished. just vanished, into thin air. He said he had that piece of paper for years in his wallet and it eventually fell apart from showing it to people and telling them the story. He told me his friends and people he told¬† didn’t believe the story and said he probably was seeing things and he was delusional. He said she was real and no way could she have walked away from the car that fast, she was very old. He said she was an ANGEL. He said he didn’t do drugs and he wasn’t drunk and he knew it happened.

After she gave him that paper, YOU ARE LOVED, GOD LOVES YOU. He felt someone had reached into his insides, his heart and pulled all the pain that was in his body and pulled it out. The weight had been lifted. This is all true, this is what he told me. The pain was gone. He put the gun back in the glove compartment and drove home. He didn’t murder anyone that night and all he had left to prove what happened was this piece of paper and his memory.

He said no one believed him. But he stopped drinking so much, He stopped getting into bar fights and he found comfort in a Christian church and was happy for the first time in his life. As he was telling me his story it was hard not to get goosebumps. I listened and when we got to the destination I turned around. I took his hand and I thanked him for his story, for his offering into his soul. I said it meant so much to me that he shared it with me and as I was holding his hand I noticed his angel tattoo on his forearm. It was quite large.

I looked at it and he saw me staring at it and he said that was there before I met my angel. The old black lady with the white hair. I said your soul called her to you. I believe the angel story because I have some of my own. He gave me some caring advice that he thought I needed to hear and got out of my car. I was very emotional. I cried.

Sometimes you have to be broken open before you can be healed. I think he had been broken open and I feel I have been as well. A kind woman gave me this book once, it’s a great book and I recommend it to anyone struggling to breathe. Before you can be stitched back up you have to forgive and be forgived. I realized then that it was time to say I am sorry. I have been thinking about this for a while. It’s time. So here it is.

I AM SORRY.

No excuses this time. No Buts or Whys. Just Sorry.

I am sorry if I hurt you in any way.

I am sorry if my words were harsh or insensitive.

I am sorry if I hurt you in my inability to communicate correctly. ‘

I am sorry if I hurt your feelings in my own confusion or lack of understanding.

I am sorry if I hurt you when I was unbalanced or mentally ill.

I did my best with what I had to work with. I tried to help myself but it took me 45 years to figure it all out, My heart was always in a good place but I had trouble communicating that sometimes.

I AM SORRY.

I ask you to get to know the me in front of you today. I am a living evolving human being with a open heart. I ask for your clemency.

I hope you can accept my offering of apology and I hope you can forgive me as I forgive.

I forgive it all.

I thank the Man with the Angel Tattoo as he never did give me his name but he did give me his soul, a piece of it anyway and I thank him for that. We all have our stories.

I also want to thank all of my Angels. All of you. Thankyou!

As for the rest; This song is for all of you. I love you all.

Love and Happiness,

JLOZ.

Today is #worldbipolarday2018 . Bless all my brothers and sisters that live with hope and strength and fight stigma on a daily basis. Let‚Äôs sparkle in 2018. ūüíõ I‚Äôve been missing some people that I love lately and I realize they are always with me in some way ; I always have their wisdom in my heart. My dad has been gone for about 12 years now and sometimes I struggle with not being able to ask him for advice or just listen to his beautiful voice or watch him in his beautiful glory. The way he influenced people and helped people by just being him. He left me with the heart I need to carry on with out him. That‚Äôs the strength I carry. I love all my ghosts and angels. Always Stay ‚≠źÔłŹ‚ú®#bipolarstrong.

Roadtrippin’

So I woke up this morning and decided to take a job driving to Minneapolis. It was impulsive and risky.¬† These are two behaviors that unfortunately go hand in hand with living with Bipolar, Especially when your running out of your medication. It is a sad day that benefits in New Jersey are so hard to get when you need them. I worked my whole life working very hard and paying my own way. It is very frustrating that when you actually need help from your state and government because you lose a job that it is almost impossible to get the help you need. I don’t foresee it getting any better under the Trump Regime.¬†

Anyway I took the job having no idea how I would get back home. I didn’t plan it well but it worked out. Thanks to a really nice customer who worked for Heineken¬† I ended up getting a driving job back home. He was a true angel. My Trip could have been a great short film because there was lots of stuff happening and I will explain some of it. Some of it I will leave for the book. I love to drive so I thought driving might be a good job for short-term but it isn’t worth it because you have to pay for your own hotels and that makes it less than desirable and not enough money to risk your life severely increasing your driving time on the road. The more you drive; the higher chance you can die. Obvious fact.

My trip was filled with a lot of music on the radio, a stop off in Chicago to meet a true blues legend and some blues disciples, met a bunch of friends along the way, a couple of really nice state troopers, thank you! Some definite drama, cold and snowy weather and some really bizarre tollbooth messengers. I wrote some song/lyrics called Tollbooth Preacher one day and I wish I could find it. It’s in a box somewhere and I can’t remember the lyrics. I’ll find it or an i’ll re-write it. I remember the premise. Here are some pictures from my trip. I stopped off in Chicago and met one of my blues heroes Buddy Guy. I also met some other friends as well.¬† All the employees that worked at Buddy Guy’s Legends was so friendly; From the awesome bartender to the cool lady bathroom attendant in the bathroom. Thanks for the deodorant. ūüôā Also met some really fun fellow blues fans and of course more guitar players. Here are some pictures of my trip. I will follow-up with a Night at Legends post with all my photos.

New Day. New moments. New Adventures. New Hope. Some Moments from my crazy trip.. 

 

 1.. Selfie In the car. Fake makeup app. Bored, more waiting.

2. Killing time at Manna Hamburgers Hackensack New Jersey waiting on my car getting detailed. Always wanted to go inside because of my obsession with Vintage Buildings, diners, signs and Businesses. 

img_4517

manna3. Taco Truck In Drums, Pennsylvania . Stopping off to get my money from the trucking center. They pay 80 percent up front. Trucking centers always fascinated¬†me; a whole culture going on there; if you ever need a shower on the go that’s the place to do it.¬†

img_4516

4. Me meeting my Blue’s Hero. Good timing. Good Luck. Thanks for the music and the inspiration Buddy.¬†

buddy guy

5. The Buddy Guy Legends sign…so happy to see it. http://www.buddyguy.com¬†I haven’t been back to legends since the 1990’s. It was in a different building back then. I met buddy back then as well, I was 26 years old. I even went to Maxwell Street on the south side back then but it was before camera phones and I didn’t have a camera with me so no pictures, sadly. Rough street but a blues history Gem. I wish I had pictures to share of Maxwell Street but they are only in my mind. Lots of Garbage Can fires burnin’ it was cold. The Hawk was out.¬†

legends sign

6.  So I’m sitting in a McDonald’s in Winnebago County, Illinois drinking coffee watching Fonzi, Captain Kirk, George foreman , Terry Bradshaw trying on lederhosen. I am not sure if it’s a new low or a new high!

jeanne at mcdonalds

¬†7. Traffic. That’s why I sat still for so long.¬†

26734313_10213837219938348_1732449992902855754_n

I stopped taking pictures after a while because stress took over but I finished driving to Minneapolis, then I turned around and drove back home. Had to get the new car detailed and fixed up so stopped in Rockford Illinois. Saw some messy ice and snow, met a chatty meth head at Starbucks… god bless him and while checking into a ahem..budget motel, I call them shake & bakes,¬† I got propositioned by a creepy hotel owner tweaking¬†on something ..yuk. So 2500 miles later I am back home.¬† Shout out¬†to the folks that helped me along the way and kept me safe. You know who you are. Peace!¬†

Love and Happiness,

Jloz

D for Deranged. 

When I started this blog I knew I was going to be honest about my life and mental illness. I knew it would be cathartic and cleansing for me. I also knew there would be some backlash. I told myself to be honest even if it gets scary. I told myself to tell the good and the bad because that’s life. Even when bad stuff happens I know there is a nugget of truth or wisdom I can take from it. God knows that’s the truth. If there’s one thing I learned in all of the pain; I learned that if you survive it;¬† it produces something genuine and sinuous. There is a gracefulness of movement in my body and my mind. I don’t mean in the traditional sense but a new-found comfort with myself and how I move emotionally and physically. It’s hard to describe but I am doing the best I can.

I went to a Jam the other day to sing. It was the first time going there and it’s was super fun. I will definitely go back. I met a lot of nice people, musicians etc. When it was my time to get up and sing I was telling everyone what key I was going to sing in so I said Born under a bad sign in D like dog.  Then the Drummer looked at me and said, you mean D for Deranged. I said, what did you just say? I said interesting choice of words.

He just had this weird smile on his face. I was smiling, positive and then he said that. It does hurt because I‚Äôm sensitive. It hurts because I try so hard to start over and live a peaceful life. I don‚Äôt do well with people attacking me. Especially people I don‚Äôt know. If your honest about having a mental illness whether you’re in recovery or not you will have to expect this. I don‚Äôt know this man and he damn sure doesn’t know me so he had no right to say that because I am certainly not deranged. The other part of this is I am a woman who does speak her mind. I also let others speak their mind and I will listen but A lot of men hate on that. They call you all sorts of names and your just supposed to take it, like woman aren’t supposed to have an opinion. I told a friend the other day; I said no one is letting me be the new me and it‚Äôs so frustrating and he told me to write it down. Yeah write that down. So I did.

It took me a long time to realize how to help myself¬† but I did. It‚Äôs a lot of suffering and a lot of work but I‚Äôm doing it and that’s why comments like this is so hard to take. So I wrote it down. No one is letting me be the new me. ¬†I looked at it over and over and I realized why he told me to write it down. I think he told me to write that down because he was telling me they don‚Äôt get to choose. You get to choose. You get to choose what and who you react too. What and who you give power too. I already know this. It‚Äôs up to me; not them. I know this in my brain but in my heart; it is still not sure; its latent and slow. I might be a bit of a Pollyanna and want to live in a world where everyone loves each other. I never thought Pollyannaism was a bad thing.

I have talked about this before that the stigma for mental health is so severe and negative compared to someone who is suffering from cancer etc. I can focus on the wonderful people I met that night or the few guy’s who weren’t so kind. I was warned by some people that there might be some people there to try to hurt me. It’s up to me what to focus on. I am training my brain to focus on the positive people and forget about the angry negative cruel ones.

Everyday I am getting better, stronger and a little less sensitive. I will always be honest, I will probably still say the wrong thing sometimes but my heart is in the right place. I will apologize if I hurt you and I will still love you no matter what. I love the guy that called me deranged and I love the others guys that stood in front of me when I sang and told me how old I looked. I knew they were trying to intimidate me and that’s cool. If that’s how they want to spend their evening so be it. Sometimes I get mad and forget what it is I’m trying to do. But when I am alone and with myself in solitude I realize then again that I love you all.

I have no room in my heart for any hate; it’s puffed up with love. Peace.

Love and Happiness,

Jloz

 

Navy Sky

The moon was a perfect sliver in the Navy Sky
As I look up for a moment 
My hands release my head
I'm dizzy. Spinning. 
I look back down and sob
into my hands
as my tears drip softly down to the ground 
thru my long fingers
making little puddles next to my shoes.
I made a mistake
I made a mistake
I am in pain
So I drink
and I drink 
and I drink
and think about what I've done
Over and over like a spinning wheel
I can't stop
Thinking
Thinking
Thinking
I am melting into this bench
wishing I could be this bench
so I don't have to be human ever again.
It seems I never learn
My heart burns
My stomach churns 
and hell returns to me like an old friend who is 
softly tapping me on the shoulder
and whispering in my ear
sweet nothings 
of what could have been.
How sad. 





 

 

 

Wedding China

You are thinking and people are talking and you are thinking while their mouths move in slow motion. Sometimes you are thinking extraordinary thoughts; violent thoughts, painful thoughts as they talk to you about the pattern on their new wedding china.

If they only knew. —-¬†

Jlozier

img_0351

Deflated

I was thinking a lot about my dad recently. I go thru periods where I think of him constantly and then I can go weeks without thinking about him at all. If you told me that ten years ago I would have told you that you were crazy. I¬†guess I get¬†caught up in the day to day business of living. I am¬† always so surprised that I don’t dream about him more. I always thought he would show up in my dreams more. It’s funny how our dreams work. I don’t understand them. They are so random and bizarre. I never¬†dream about the people I love , why is that? ¬†Anyway I was thinking about the blog I wrote called Monsoon in Chinatown; a letter to my father. I wrote that years ago after he died. It was an exercise to help me get over his death.¬† I posted it below in a previous post. I was told by a therapist it might help to write him a goodbye letter. So I did. It was a long private letter but I posted part of it. I never spoke about the day he died but It was¬†the worst day of my¬†38¬†¬†years of living. I felt like writing about it today. I remember being depressed, vacant, sick, scared and well not very present. I was there but I wasn’t there. I think somehow my brain couldn’t¬†handle all the emotion so it shut off. I wasn’t myself and I was somewhere inside myself. I felt like a turtle who went back into it’s shell. I know this seemed distant and selfish to others but I couldn’t be any different at that time.. My brain was in charge. I was who¬†I was then. My life was in shambles and this was the Main Event.

I¬†¬†went to my parents house¬†on New Years Day, my dad was still with us. I was living by myself and had slept at my apartment the night before. I would have been there already but my biological relatives¬†invited me to go out for New Years Eve. I didn’t want to go but my mom told me to go. I had just found my biological Aunt and she asked me to spend New Years Eve with her and the family. I went. I had been spending a lot of time at my parents house when I wasn’t working watching my father wither away. It was the holidays and I think my mom thought I needed a break so she told me to go out and have fun so I went.

Have fun, what a strange thought.

I was so happy to find my biological ¬†relatives but it was such a bad time for it to happen. I wasn’t in a good place. For many different reasons.

I had spent Christmas Eve sitting with my dad thinking he would pass…but he didn’t. The Christmas Eve I will never forget. It was me and my mom and two of her friends there in the house that night. I was sitting with my dad in his room and we watched the Christmas Story together. That was the last thing we did before he slipped into a coma. In fact the last thing he said to me was a line out of that movie. He was repeating¬† one of the lines out of the movie over and over. ¬†I can’t watch Christmas story anymore without reliving that night.

I would doze off and wake to his thin frail bony frame staring at me over the railing of the bed. I don’t know if he knew I was there but I think he did. As I was sitting there with him I heard something down the street like singing. I figured it was Christmas Carol Singers¬†so I looked out the window¬†behind my father’s death bed to find about fifty or so people walking up the street. They were holding lit candles and singing. Next thing I knew they were in¬†the house. The minister of my fathers and mothers church¬†came in between Christmas service with half the church behind him. They were all holding candles. It was like¬†one of those sappy ¬†hallmark movies. They loved my dad, the minister loved my dad, the congregation loved my dad, everyone loved my dad. if dad couldn’t be at church the church would come to dad.

I left my dad’s side and went downstairs to be with my mom and all these people who so kindly¬†came to pay their last respects. The minster and his flock. ¬†My mom let them in and as they¬†filed into¬†our small house¬†singing¬†they formed a crescent in the living room and held hands. ¬†My mom stood there with the poise and strength that her generation seems to have mastered. She was the perfect host; kept her game face on for those divine¬†people while I melted. I couldn’t hold it together and it took every molecule of my being not cry out loud. I could feel eyes on me¬†with their kind sympathy. ¬†My mom on the other hand was a strong upright force that was there for them as not to make them feel uncomfortable. I will never forget the look on her face when we all prayed. Her strength was at its glorious best. She was in the hands of her god.

After the prayers had been¬†said and the songs had been sung¬†they left, the candles burned down and¬†there was one more Christmas Eve sermon to be given and they had to get back. I went back upstairs to sit with my dad, my daddy, my best friend. ¬†He made it to Christmas day. In fact he made it all the way to New Years Day. I spent the New years Eve with my new Aunt and her family and then went back to my apartment.¬† I came back New Years Day morning to be with my mom and my dad, I was depleted emotionally, tired and totally spent as we all were. I went up to see him and then I went back downstairs. ¬†I remember I was watching the twilight zone so as not to think, trying to distract myself from the pain that was all around me.¬†The craziest thing happened.¬†My favorite twilight zone show came on the TV.¬†The reason it is so crazy is because it’s the one with young Robert Redford when he plays the Grim Reaper.¬†That was such a rare show that they never played. It was¬†one of those¬†24 hour twilight zone marathons that they do on New Years Day .¬† As¬†I was watching¬†the Charming Redford¬†as¬†the grim reaper¬†conning that poor old lady,¬†my mom came down the stairs¬†crying and told me he was gone. I ran back up to him and¬†watched my mom finally break¬†down. Her life partner for¬†fifty years or so is gone. ¬†I called the funeral home and whomever¬†else I¬†was supposed to call. I watched Mark, the flustered and¬†devastated minister knock on our neighbor’s door before he realized¬†he was at the wrong house.¬†¬†He was there minutes after my dad passed to help console us. After a while my sisters started to show up with their husbands.

He finally left us on New Years Day and he waited till¬†I got there. I was so glad¬†I was there.¬†Mom thinks¬†he waited to New Years day so¬†that she would get an extra year of his work benefits. I knew he wasn’t ready to die. He was 73, he wanted to enjoy his grandchildren, he wasn’t ready.¬†I saw the looks on his face as he was dying. He knew the cancer had spread all over his body and even though he NEVER complained in the six months he got the cancer and died from it; he couldn’t hide his disappointment from me.

Everything happened quickly, the Hearst showed up from the funeral home and took him away. My sisters were consoling my mom and I was back in my turtle shell. I was in shock I think. After  a while reality sunk in and I had to go back home, My mom wanted to be alone and I had to get ready for the funeral.

I went outside to drive home and as I walked outside I realized my tires were completely deflated. Someone cut my tires on the day that my dad died. Are you kidding me? I just stood there looking at my tires in a state of shock.

Was I really going to have to get my tires fixed on the day I lost my father. I guess so. No one was offering to help so here it is. It is already starting. The one person that would have helped me with my car was gone. After staring at my car for what seemed like an hour.. I had my god damn deflated car towed down to the tire place and got my car fixed.

At that moment I never felt so alone.

I was in the waiting room waiting while they put new tires onto my car. They were not fixable.

There was a woman and child waiting with me in the waiting room and the child kept crying. I felt like¬†I was in a nightmare. My nerves were shot, the child’s screams were killing me.

Then the guy at the desk decided to make a pass at me. WTF…like some kind of sleazy offer with a wink. I remember thinking¬† if there is a hell I am in it right now. yes..This is definitely hell.

My tires¬†were fixed and I went back to my apartment alone and there I sat ….still.

Thinking about my mom, my dad, what was to become of all of this.

Yes, that was the worst day of my life.

Knowing then that it was also the first day of the rest of my life, a life that would never be the same without him.